Saturday 7 April 2012

April 8, 1876

 “The late violent storm of snow and sleet successfully drove the birds to their hiding places, but the bright sun and balmy breeze of this morning coaxed them back again, and the clear whistle of the robin and the merry chirrup of the blue bird could be heard in all directions.”
                             Hamilton Spectator      April 8, 1876
Definite spring day, April 8, 1876 in Hamilton. The robins and blue birds filled the air with their calls.
As reported in the Spectator, the unusual winter weather of early 1876 had an effect on one of the spring traditions in the rural districts:
“This has not been a very propitious season for sugar making in this district, but in some parts of the country large quantities have been made. Had it not been for the late fall of snow, the run would have been very meager indeed. Some fresh maple sugar was sold in the market this morning.”
Down at the bayfront, the activity concerning the housing of the voyageurs hired to assemble the log rafts was completed and work on one of the big rafts was underway :
“Active preparations are being made by lumbermen for the coming rafting season, which promises to be a prosperous one. Messrs. Bradley and Flatt yesterday constructed the shanties for the voyageurs, and staked out their rafting ground, which is the largest in the Bay. While assisting the men in building the shanties, Mr. Bradley fell and sustained several severe bruises. Bradley and Flatt’s raft will contain over $80,000 worth of timber, and while passing through the lake will measure half a mile in length. It will leave this port about the middle of June.”
      The Canterbury Hall, recently converted into a popular variety amusement hall, continued to receive positive reviews in the Spectator:
“This popular place of amusement continues to attract large audiences nightly. The bill of fare presented thus far has been very good in the variety line, the songs, sketches, dances, etc. being of a superior order. The management are busily engaged in preparing new scenery; a new and handsome drop curtain was placed in position on Thursday night, and further improvements will soon follow. On Monday evening there will be an entire change of programme, and several new faces will appear. Among these may be mentioned Madam and Birdie Ducillo, who will appear in their statues, songs and dances, and jigs, and also John Parks and Sally Woodruff, who will make their debut in the side-splitting farce of “The Country Cousin,” in which they will be supported by the full company. There is also in rehearsal, and will be produced on Thursday evening next, with appropriate scenery, Harry Week’s sensational drama in one act, entitled “Buffalo Bill, or the Three Chiefs,” Mr. A. B. Swift taking the part of Buffalo Bill, and Mr. Harry Weeks that of Texas Jack. Tonight, a good bill will be presented, with a new and choice selection of songs, sketches, etc.”
The controversy over the route of the proposed Hamilton and North Western Railway across the Burlington Bay Canal had reached a point where a meeting of all parties interested was set up in Ottawa after which a final decision would be made :
“This morning the Hamilton and North Western Railway Company were notified, by telegram from the Government, that they will hear all parties for and against the bridging of the Burlington Canal in the office of the Minister of Public Works, on Tuesday the 11th inst., at 9 a.m.. This evening the President, accompanied by several witnesses, will leave by the 5:20 train for Ottawa. Other Parties are informed, that will be in time for the examination if they leave here on Monday evening. The examination is expected to last a couple  of days, as a large number of persons will be heard on both sides of the question. The decision of the Government will be final, and will set at rest any further question on the subject. The tunneling of the canal is pronounced by engineers as next door to an impossibility.”

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